Is the "how a bill becomes law" process efficient?

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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Efficient" isn't a word you hear that associated very often with anything Congress does.  However, the rules and process by which laws are passed, is very clear, both in the Constitution and in practice, and to govern this size of a country by the rule of law, it is the most efficient you can hope for.

Take a program like Medicare, which spends nearly a trillion dollars per year on health care for the retired in this country, is a massive program created by law in the 1960s.  The government created it, refined it and regulated it.  Same goes for Social Security and Medicaid.  By most measures, these are actually pretty efficient programs, considering the vast number of claims and payments they administer each day.  I think the same degree of "efficiency" exists in Congress, it just can't compare to what we usually think of when we hear that word.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No, this process is anything but efficient.  The people who wrote our Constitution did not want it to be efficient because they did not want the government to be able to make new laws very easily.

The process is inefficient because too many different people have to agree.  At the least, the House, the Senate and the President must all agree to a bill in order for it to pass.  All of these are elected by different constituencies.  The indicidual people are not required to be loyal to any particular party or anything.  Therefore, there is no way to force all the members of Congress to vote a certain way.

Since legislation has to go through so many steps and so many people have to agree, it is hard to get laws passed.  However, this is what the Founders wanted.